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Postal Service to announce mail-processing plant closures

Feb. 23, 2012 - 06:00AM   |  
By SEAN REILLY   |   Comments
The Postal Service began notifying employees in the affected plants late Wednesday and will continue that process Thursday, a spokeswoman said.
The Postal Service began notifying employees in the affected plants late Wednesday and will continue that process Thursday, a spokeswoman said. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

The U.S. Postal Service will announce Thursday which of 252 mail processing plants will close.

The agency began notifying employees in affected plants late Wednesday and will continue that process Thursday, spokeswoman Sue Brennan, said. While the Postal Service in response to congressional pressure has a freeze on closings of all plants and post offices until May 15, "right now, the plan is to move forward after the moratorium ends," she said.

The Postal Service announced the "network optimization" move last August as part of a cost-cutting drive intended to shed 28,000 jobs and save more than $2 billion a year. The 252 processing plants on the original closure review list represent more than half the total of 461. Although there could be minor changes to that list, most are expected to be targeted for closing.

The planned downsizing also includes scrapping the Postal Service's next-day delivery standard for first-class mail.

In a statement posted on its website, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, which represents many processing plant workers, said that some facilities could gain work as others close.

"All of these actions are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, and could be changed by intervening legislative developments," the union said. The union has also discussed "possible incentives for downsizing," the statement said, although it has not yet reached an agreement with the Postal Service.

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